📈5 Ways Housing Strategy also benefits homeowners

Housing Strategy is not just about affordability

(Image source: Globe and Mail)

While much of the discussion around Calgary’s Housing Strategy has been focused on affordability, there are also many benefits to homeowners by eliminating outdated exclusionary zoning rules that currently make townhomes and row homes illegal in established neighbourhoods.


1) Helps keep schools and recreation centres open, services running

Chinook Park school is just one of many schools in Calgary’s “donut of decline” that may face closure due to low enrollment. (Image source: Calgary Herald)

Older suburbs in Calgary have been facing significant population decline for decades in what is often called the “donut of decline” - a ring around the centre of the city of communities roughly 30 to 50 years old. Some neighbourhoods have seen as much as a 45% drop since their peak. As a result, many schools in existing neighbourhoods in Calgary are facing an existential threat as more and more are falling below target enrolment set by school boards. 

The same problem has plagued city services at the community level including closures of police and fire stations, recreation centres, plus cuts to parks and transit service

By adding more homes and more types of housing back into these communities existing homeowners and residents can benefit from keeping schools and city services in their communities.


2) Helps lower taxes and increases investment in established neighbourhoods

Every time the city adds another new sprawl community to Calgary’s tax base city services are spread thinner and thinner. A 2019 study found that Calgary has significantly more roads per capita to maintain than most other large Canadian cities. More kilometers of roads can generally be associated with more infrastructure to maintain (water, sewer, bridges, etc). 

Comparison of centreline road metres per capita of major canadian cities. (Source: Beltline Neighbourhoods Association)

By slowing the overall expansion of the city to accommodate population growth, existing homeowners and residents can benefit from lower taxes and increased investment in their communities.


3) Offers more housing choice in established neighbourhoods 

(Image source: Globe and Mail)

Lack of housing options in many communities is forcing seniors to stay in their large houses well into their 80s. According to a CMHC economist, “Those who would be willing to downsize are often stymied by a lack of housing variety in their communities, so they stay in their homes to remain close to their friends.”

By removing outdated exclusionary zoning in established neighbourhoods, the Housing Strategy will help add more types of housing such as row homes and townhomes for residents looking to downsize within their own community as they age.

4) Attracts more local businesses in neighbourhoods

(Image source: City of Calgary)

Population loss in established communities in Calgary’s “donut of decline” has made it harder to attract and retain great local businesses. Homeowners and residents will benefit from more neighbours in their communities that can attract and sustain more great local shops, restaurants and businesses.


5) Increases property values

(Image source: Globe and Mail)

Evidence shows that removing outdated exclusionary zoning and permitting row homes and townhomes to be built on previously single detached house lots increases the land value of properties because it provides more certainty for homeowners looking to build more units on a single parcel. This will benefit existing single-detached homeowners by giving them more power over the best use of their property while also creating additional, more affordable housing options within existing communities.


Cllr. Dan McLean wants to gut the Housing Strategy

Cllr. Dan McLean used provincial funding to justify subsidizing building a new arena for billionaires. Now he's threatening to reject federal funding to support housing initiatives for everyday citizens.


🏘️🚨We need your help!

We need your help to tell Calgary City Council to vote against gutting the Housing Strategy or delaying it with a costly plebiscite.

1) 📣 Share this post

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2) 📋 Sign the petition in support of the Housing Strategy

3) 🥳 Join the list of supporters

Do you know an individual organization that would like to support Project Calgary’s housing advocacy? Have them email us at [email protected].


🤓Further reading